'Like pet therapy': Foster cats delight customers at N.S. bookstore
The Otis and Clementine bookstore in Upper Tantallon, N.S. is home to several foster cats, much to the delight of customers.
UPPER TANTALLON, N.S. -- If you’re hoping to add a furry friend to your family, or seeking a spot to unwind with some animal therapy, a bookstore and coffee shop in Upper Tantallon, N.S., is just what you’re looking for.
Business owner Ellen Helmkey started taking in cats at Otis and Clementine’s last May. During that time, she has fostered nearly 30 cats -- all of them coming from South Paw Conservation Nova Scotia.
“Our goal as fosters is to socialize the animals so they make good pets, keep them safe and healthy and fed, and mare sure they get all of their vet appointments, as they should, and then make sure we find the right home for them,” explains Helmkey.
“It’s basically a one-woman show that rescues cats and does it out of her own pocket.”
The felines are free to roam the bookstore, much to the delight of customers, and the cats themselves.
“The kittens love the bookstore. It gives them lots of room to run around. It has nooks and crannies to hide in,” says Helmkey. “Lots of people to play with them and to snuggle them, so I like it because it’s something fun to come to work to.”
Customers like Kellie Allen say the experience of sitting down with a book and a coffee, while also getting to cuddle some kittens, is therapeutic.
“Lately I’ve been coming because I love kittens and I don’t have a cat, so I get my cat fix when I’m here, and it’s sort of like pet therapy,” says Allen. “If you’re stressed out you come and you just hang out with the cats and occasionally get some work done at the same time.”
Some of the cats have a home lined up and are expected to join their new families on Wednesday.
Helmkey expects to bring more kittens into the bookstore soon.